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Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-103 ERG-Like Potassium Channel Regulates Contractile Behaviors of Sex Muscles in Males before and during Mating

Garcia, L. Rene and Sternberg, Paul W. (2003) Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-103 ERG-Like Potassium Channel Regulates Contractile Behaviors of Sex Muscles in Males before and during Mating. Journal of Neuroscience, 23 (7). pp. 2696-2705. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6742059. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.23-07-02696.2003.

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During mating behavior the Caenorhabditis elegansmale must regulate periodic and prolonged protractor muscle contractions to insert his copulatory spicules into his mate. The protractors undergo periodic contractions to allow the spicules to reattempt insertion if a previous thrust failed to breach the vulva. When the spicule tips penetrate the vulva, the protractors undergo prolonged contraction to keep the spicules inside the hermaphrodite until sperm transfer is complete. To understand how these contractions are regulated, we isolated EMS-induced mutations that cause males to execute prolonged contraction inappropriately. Loss-of-function mutations in the unc-103 ERG-like K+channel gene cause the protractor muscles to contract in the absence of mating stimulation. unc-103-induced spicule protraction can be suppressed by killing the SPC motor neurons and the anal depressor muscle: cells that directly contact the protractors. Also, reduction in acetylcholine suppresses unc-103-induced protraction, suggesting that UNC-103 keeps cholinergic neurons from stimulating the protractors before mating behavior. UNC-103 also regulates the timing of spicule protraction during mating behavior.unc-103 males that do not display mating-independent spicule protraction show abnormal spicule insertion behavior during sex. In contrast to wild-type males, unc-103 mutants execute prolonged contractions spontaneously within sequences of periodic protractor contractions. The premature prolonged contractions cause the spicules to extend from the male tail before the spicule tips penetrate the vulva. These observations demonstrate thatunc-103 controls various aspects of spicule function.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Additional Information:© 2003 Society for Neuroscience. Received Nov. 13, 2002; revised Jan. 9, 2003; accepted Jan. 13, 2003. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute with which P.W.S. is an investigator and L.R.G. was an associate supported this research. L.R.G. was supported by a Department of Health and Human Services National Research Service Award (GM18857). Strains were provided by the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, which is supported by National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources. We thank David Reiner and James Thomas for communicating to us the molecular lesions in unc-103(e1597gf ) and unc-103(n1213). We also thank Karin Doerr for writing software used in this work and Gary Schindelman for comments on this manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
NIH Predoctoral FellowshipGM18857
Subject Keywords:Caenorhabditis elegans; mating behavior; unc-103; ERG; K+ channel; L-type voltage-gated calcium channels
Issue or Number:7
PubMed Central ID:PMC6742059
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191002-113744979
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Official Citation:Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-103 ERG-Like Potassium Channel Regulates Contractile Behaviors of Sex Muscles in Males before and during Mating. L. Rene Garcia, Paul W. Sternberg. Journal of Neuroscience 1 April 2003, 23 (7) 2696-2705; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.23-07-02696.2003
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99021
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Oct 2019 19:21
Last Modified:02 Mar 2022 00:49

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